The following arrived in our popular anonymous tips box:
Speaker of the Legislative Assembly in NSW, John
Aquilina will stand against Louise Markus for Greenway in the next
federal election. Due to the redistribution of Riverstone, he has lost
a great deal of his ‘core support’. But do not expect the resignation
or announcement for a while.
We ran the rumour past ABC Election Analyst Antony Green, who suggested there were a few problems with the idea:
First, Aquilina would not need to retire from
state Parliament. The next NSW election is in March 2007, six months
before the Federal election. If he wanted to run in Greenway, he could
announce his intention as part of a decision not to contest the 2007
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Second, the new Riverstone is not as bad for Labor as your correspondent suggests, as it does pick up Bligh Park and Dean Park.
while Greenway is probably an easier seat than the new Riverstone, as
it includes Labor voting areas in the state seats of Blacktown and
Toongabbie, I’d wonder why Aquilina would want to bother. He would be
56 by the time of the Federal election, with 26 years of state
Parliamentary representation behind him, and a superannuation package
based on his generous salary as Speaker. I’m not sure there would be
any financial benefit for him to switch to Federal politics, so it
would be a very noble deed to do it for the interests of the Labor
Party, which I presume is why the idea is being floated.